Although it’s a great time to be a fan of any metal genre today, it’s a particularly rich time for doom metal acolytes. Seemingly every type of sub-category or fusion with other styles is readily available, and expanding every day. Like 70s revival stuff with heavy riffs? You’re all good. Want something sludgy with black metal vocals? Gotcha. Do you like 11 minute songs that drone on with subterranean growling? Welcome to harvest time. But what if you’re the type of listener who’d like to hear doom mixed with a more bright and energetic form of heavy metal akin to, say, newer Dark Tranquility?
Then I think London’s Age of Taurus should be your new favorite band. They have a new album, The Colony Slain, coming out on May 18 via Rise Above Records (of course). Check out our premiere of “In Dreams We Die” below, and if you dig that you can pre-order the album here.
In describing the song, singer and guitarist Toby Wright puts in context with the band’s mythological world of the Taurean Empire:
If there were ever a suitable window into the tragic journey that awaits on the The Colony Slain, it’s “In Dreams We Die.” As a standalone song, it perfectly bridges the gap between old and new; the heavy emphasis on driving riffs still takes centre stage, while increasingly melodic tendencies and a more varied vocal approach point toward some of the album’s differing directions. Conceptually, the track also appears at a key moment for the story’s protagonist, Blackwynn Chaise. As a captive of the Empire, he is now being transported to the mountain colony on the Kingdom’s westernmost fringes and as his prison caravan begins it’s lengthy voyage, they encounter a mysterious seeress (Cerentih). Her visions terrify Blackwynn and bring him to the conclusion that he will have to act quickly upon arrival if he is to stand any chance of escape from the colony.
This vision for the song and album dovetails nicely with the band’s unique sonic approach. The band certainly belongs to the doom metal tradition, but they make an effort to add some well-produced heavy metal glory, along with the echo of melodeath that I can’t quite shake (perhaps the word “colony” in the title is a tell there, if you catch my drift). Even the album art embodies this dichotomy: a lava-lamp band logo set onto a highly detailed and dramatic cover. Additionally, the band takes the bold approach of world building, creating a new world for the listener to explore that still connects with universal human concerns of adventure, power and freedom.